Satyam’s govt-named board, police differ on staff strength

Satyam’s govt-named board, police differ on staff strength
PTI
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First Published: Sun, Jan 25 2009. 12 40 PM IST
Updated: Sun, Jan 25 2009. 12 40 PM IST
Hyderabad: The government-appointed Satyam board and the Andhra Pradesh police are tugging at opposite ends of the rope on whether the IT company’s employee numbers were inflated.
“The board has confirmed that prima facie there appears to be no basis to doubt the same,” the six-member board said snapping its fingers at the state criminal investigation department’s claim that Satyam founder Ramalinga Raju had told them that employee numbers were inflated by over 12,000 in order to siphon off Rs20 crore a month.
The company’s human resource department kicked off a verification process, as the board said an independent probe process is expected to reaffirm the head count in coming days.
“As of now, we believe there are 53,000 employees, which is subject to verification and auditing,” a Satyam spokesperson said.
Public prosecutor Ajay Kumar, on behalf of the CID, had told a local court last week that Raju had said he had inflated employee numbers so as to draw Rs20 crore a month from banks towards staff costs.
Raju, along with his brother Rama Raju and company’s former CFO Vadlamani Srinivas, is in judicial custody pending investigation into a Rs 7,000-crore accounting fraud disclosed by him on 7 January.
The police on Saturday arrested auditor Price Waterhouse’s partners S. Gopalakrishnan and Srinivas Talluri in connection with the Satyam fraud.
The divergent claims by the board and the police reflect disunion among the different machineries of the government, although there claims are made of maintaining a coordinated action.
A central government probe team from the Serious Fraud Investigation Office or the one from market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India are yet to gain access to Raju, much less question him.
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First Published: Sun, Jan 25 2009. 12 40 PM IST